Well, this is Diane again. Rachel will be back but for now it is important for her to save her energy for getting better. I will do my best to give you a basic update for the last week, I am sorry that I do not share the same wit and humor as Rach. As you know Rachel has been on a high dose of steroids for some time and we are now nearing the end, we are down to 3 mg a day as of today. This is something to be excited about. We are getting close to the mark where there should be little or no side effects and once the the residual side effects go away things will improve. We want you to know that Rachel is physically strong and spiritually strong but struggling in the emotional realm. This is a temporary state but very natural for anyone in her situation- teenager with a bad case of drug induced acne (this would be difficult for me as an adult), difficulty getting and staying asleep (not many can function on 1 or less hours of sleep for extended nights) water retention, messing with hormones (anyone of these would be difficult in and of itself but add them all together and it becomes a real challenge). Rachel is just very tired and numb right now and knows what she wants to say but has a hard time communicating it and it is frustrating.
As you can see Rachel and I did travel home over the last weekend but tried to keep it quiet so that she could still get the much needed rest that her body lacks so we hope that no one felt left out of the loop. She was really happy to sleep in her own bed and see her Dad, sisters and a few very close friends (wanted to see many more and regrets that she wasn't up to it). As her parents we also knew that her physical and emotional health needed to be closely guarded so that her treatments could continue to reduce her tumor for the best overall outcome. Rachel was disappointed that she didn't feel like attending the game and the Homecoming Dance that we went home for but was grateful for others understanding.
Yesterday our day began at 10:00 am and we finally were able to get back to our room at 5:00pm. Some days are just long like that. When we returned to the Ronald McDonald house they were offering free hair cuts from Super Cuts. I guess they come in one day a month and different stylists throughout the city take their time volunteering, how great are they! Shout out to Super Cuts of Memphis and all of the stylists who make it happen. I actually wanted to get my haircut when I was home but didn't get around to it so I was grateful for this opportunity. While I was getting my hair cut Rachel sat and visited with Patience, a darling young girl who is also battling cancer. Rachel stayed to keep Patience company while her mother also received a haircut. Later we played Bingo and Rachel gave her winning ticket to another part time resident, Scarlett so that she could claim a prize. (We have come to know that Scarlett is the little girl from the clinic that Rachel shared her iPad with when she was crying).
Today is day 16 of 30 radiation treatments, more than half way. Exciting day.